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South Point mayor clarifies policy on political signs

Also addresses ordinance on U.S. 52 maintenance

SOUTH POINT — South Point Mayor Jeff Gaskin wants to clarify the village’s policy on the posting of political signs.

Gaskin spoke with The Tribune, following an exchange at Tuesday’s meeting of council, in which council member Bill Patrick took issue with where signs may or may not be posted.

“Village Ordinance 89-7 says that no political signs may be placed on village rights-of-way,” Gaskin said. “Mr. Patrick was upset when I told him he could not place a sign out close to the overpass, arguing that it was state property and I would not stop him.”

Gaskin said Patrick was told if he posted the sign in that location, the village would remove it.

“Mr. Patrick called ODOT to check on the legality and was told the village could regulate signs there,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin said there has been four locations within the village where people have, as tradition, been allowed to post signs. He said enforcement in these locations is relaxed and everyone is allowed to post.

Patrick had also raised the issue of who maintains U.S. 52 within village limits. Gaskin said Patrick produced a copy of “an obscure law,” ordinance 92-13, and claimed it was a contract, which would require the village to be responsible for maintenance.

“Mr. Patrick did not take the time to read the ordinance,” Gaskin said. “The ordinance was giving ODOT permission to take over the maintenance of U.S. 52 within the village and says so in the first paragraph.”

The exchange at the meeting became heated, and several council members had questioned why Patrick was raising the issue. No action was taken on the matter.

“Mr. Patrick brought turmoil to the council meeting that was unnecessary and unjustified,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin provided copies of both ordinances. 92-37 states it is “granting the director of transportation authority to maintain state highways, apply standard longitudinal pavement marking and erect regulatory and warning signs on state highways inside village corporation.”